In a new TED talk a woman and her rapist join together to discuss the process of healing after rape. Thordis Elva was raped by her Australian boyfriend, Tom Stranger, while he was studying abroad in Iceland.
They were teenagers in love and after a night of drinking he took advantage of her in her own room. Her body was too burdened by the alcohol to fight back but she said her mind remembers everything.
Afterwards she felt empty but it took her awhile to realize what had happened. That night did not match up with the definition she and society had of rape so she assumed it was her fault. It did not happen with an armed stranger in an alley so she blamed herself.
Nine years after that night Elva wrote a letter to her rapist/ex-boyfriend which lead to eight-years of correspondence and dissection of the consequences of that night.
Sixteen years after the rape, the two met up in person to discuss that night. The're trip inspired her to write a book which she co-authored with Tom Stranger.
South of Forgiveness is due out this March.